As legend has it, the idea of eating two pieces of bread with something in between was invented by England’s fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792). An avid gambler, the Earl couldn’t bear to leave the card table for as long as it took to eat a normal meal, and so invented this handy snack so that he could eat and gamble at the same time.
Yet as nice as this story is, tradition tells us that Jews have been eating sandwiches long before the 18th century. Hillel the Elder, the 1st century rabbi, argued that elements of the Passover seder including maror and charoset should be placed between two slides of matzah and eaten as a sandwich. The charoset reminds us of the mortar and, together with the maror, of the pain of slavery. However, as we eat it we taste its sweetness. This sweetness gives us hope that the future will bring redemption and justice to all people.
Make and enjoy a Hillel sandwich
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